Life Of Pi Quote Analysis Essay

“I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the grab of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. ” (Martel 163) Pi was someone who you may never have thought could survive 227 days on a lifeboat with a tiger, but he did.

He was able to overcome fear and use his beliefs to help him. He did this by using the beliefs that he learned in India and bringing them onto the lifeboat to help save his life. He used his beliefs of routines and rituals, knowing what death really is, and vegetarianism to help him overcome these huge obstacles. As Pi grew up, he maintained routines, not only in the zoo but also at school; he believed that repetition gave people a sense of security which people like.

Pi, when he was young, owned a zoo called the Pondicherry, when he was in the zoo he noticed how structured and repetitive the zoo’s feeding and cleaning systems were, so it was only natural that he seemed to pick up some of these habits himself. When animals were getting accustomed to the new environment, Pi noted that the animals had to have everything a certain way and at a certain time for the animal to feel comfortable and happy.

They needed for these things to happen consistently so that they feel like they understand what was going to happen and when, they needed repetition to feel safe. This knowledge of repetition came in handy when he was moving to a new school. “Repetition is important in training not only animals but also humans” (Martel 23). So when Pi wanted to get rid of his old nickname “Pissing” he knew exactly how to make sure that everyone called him by the correct name and that was by repetition. Pi decided to create a ritual that he would do over in every class to make sure his point got across.

Before the teacher could say a word, I picked up the piece of chalk and said as I wrote: My name is Piscine Molitor Patel known to all as – I double underlined the first two letters of my given name – Pi Patel For good measure I added ? =3. 14 and I drew a large circle, which I then sliced in two with a diameter to evoke that basic lesson of geometry” (Martel 22-23). Pi continued to do this exact same performance in every class the exact same way. He knew that if he performed the same thing over and over again, the students and the teachers would understand exactly what he wanted. He knew that repetition was the way to get his point across.

Pi was able to not only use his previous knowledge of repetition to help train Richard Parker but also to help keep himself busy and sane on the lifeboat. When training Richard Parker, Pi had to think of a way to make sure that he knew who was the boss, he came up with a method that would associate the blowing of a whistle with him feeling sea sick. “Once your animal has trespassed upon your territory, be unflagging in your outrage. Whether you have fled to your safe haven off the lifeboat or retreated to the back of your territory on the lifeboat, START BLOWING YOUR WHISTLE AT FULL BLAST and IMMEDIATELY TRIP THE SEA ANCHOR.

These two actions are of pivotal importance. You must not delay putting them into effect. ” (Martel 204) By making Richard Parker feel like the sea sickness was being caused by the blowing of the whistle, which was caused with him crossing the boundaries made Pi in control. Pi knew that doing this just one time would not be effective, but he needed to do these exact same actions multiple times to make sure that Richard Parker understood. Remarkably Pi was able to stay sane for the entire 226 days that he was on that lifeboat, and this was due to the fact of him knowing how to keep himself busy by having a routine.

Sunrise to mid-morning: wake up prayers breakfast for Richard Parker general inspection of raft and lifeboat, with particular attention paid to all the knots and ropes tending of solar stills (wiping, inflating, topping off with water) fishing and preparing of fish if any caught (gutting, cleaning, hanging off the strips of flesh on lines to sure in the sun)” (Martel 190) These were just some of the things he did on a daily basis, he need to maintain a routine to help himself keep busy not think about what his situation was and to keep him as sane as possibly.

Being able to keep yourself busy is harder than you may think especially when you are on a small lifeboat with a Royal Bengal tiger but Pi manages to do In India, Pi learned that death is always a possibility, especially in the wild with animals. Since he grew up in a zoo he learned from his father the true dangers of any animal, but there was a lesson that just the sounds would scare Pi for life. Pi’s father did this by calling the family together on a Sunday morning and walk through the zoo like they had done many times before, this time Pi was lead to the tiger habitat. I’m going to show you how dangerous tigers really are,” he continued. “I want you to remember this lesson for the rest of your lives. ” (Martel 34. )

From there Pi’s father proceeds to tell them that he has not fed the tiger for a 3 days and places a goat in a cage that leads to the Tiger. “I don’t know if I saw blood before turning into Mother’s arms or if I daubed it on later, in my memory, with a big brush. But I heard. It was enough to scare the living vegetarian daylight out of me. (Martel 36. ) After this experience it seemed that Pi did have a better understanding of not only how dangerous animals are but how quickly life can be taken right out your you hands. Pi, not only was able to understand death from a young age, but he took his knowledge and decided to put it with God. You could say that while Pi was on the lifeboat he had many close calls with death. He was faced with challenging scenarios such as lack of food, water or even too much exposure to the sun.

Though in India he learned about how death is always hanging around like unwanted dust in the air, on the lifeboat he had a first-hand experience with a life or death scenarios which he had to live out. There were many instances where he could have died but ended up making it through. For instance just being able to survive on a lifeboat with a royal Bengal tiger for 227 days. Throughout those days on the lifeboat he encounters being dehydrated and hungry those where the times were he felt the most like a sword was by a line above his head. Pi had a firm stance on being a vegetarian, he could not hurt a fly.

Pi was a defiant believer he believed in everything good, he had strong opinions on controversial subjects life for instance how animals would much prefer a zoo than living in the wild. He not only believed in a religion he believed in three he made the argument of that all three religious beliefs the same thing but in slightly different ways, they all believe in God. But one thing about Pi is that no matter how strongly his opinion is on a subject, he always seems to be able to see the other side, he doesn’t shame the other side but understands, but he does have a limit.

Religion will save us,” I said. Since when I could remember, religions had always been close to my heart. “Religion? ” Mr. Kumar grinned broadly. “I don’t believe in religion. Religion is darkness. ” Darkness? I was puzzled. I thought, Darkness is the last thing that religion is. Religion is light. Was he testing me? Was he saying, “Religion is darkness,” the way he sometimes said in class things like “Mammals lay eggs,” to see if someone would correct him? (“Only platypuses, sir. “)” (Martel 27. ) Pi doesn’t disrespect the beliefs of an atheist.

He is the same with being a vegetarian he strongly believes that you should not kill animals to eat them, but he doesn’t disrespect others beliefs. “Lord, to think that I’m a strict vegetarian. To think that when I was a child I always shuddered when I snapped open a banana because it sounded to me like the breaking of an animal’s neck. I descended to a level of savagery I never imagined possible. ” (Martel 197. ) When on the lifeboat Pi had to leave his plant-eating lifestyle to make sure he could survive.

He had to kill animals that he would never even dream about killing to be able to survive. The first time that he killed a fish he had to wrap it in a blanket because he couldn’t bare seeing it. Pi at the beginning of the book was very sensitive but as I read further I realized he was a more moral than sensitive. “You may be astonished that in such a short period of time I could go from weeping over the muffled killing of a flying fish to gleefully bludgeoning to death a dorado.

I could explain it by arguing that profiting from a pitiful flying fish’s navigational mistake made me shy and sorrowful while the excitement of actively capturing a great dorado made me sanguinary and self-assured. But in point of fact the explanation lies elsewhere. It is simple and brutal: a person can get used to anything, even killing. ” (Martel 185. ) Throughout part 2 Pi had to set aside vegetarianism because if he didn’t he would have died very quickly. He goes from snapping celery to snapping necks of animals to eat, and this happens very quickly.

Before this, he could barely open a banana, but on the lifeboat he even ate human flesh. He change was fast from strict vegetarian to someone who could eat human flesh. Thought eating meat and killing must have been hard for him, being a vegetarian made him appreciate the food so much more. Pi’s beliefs help him make it through this obstacle in this life, he is able to bring all the things he learned in India and put them to good use on the lifeboat. He was able to use his beliefs to help save his life. You may have thought that a squeamish couldn’t survive the wild, but he did.